Nick McWilliams reporting – As recent numbers reflect lives still being lost at alarming rates due to COVID, elder and immunocompromised residents are asked to stay up to date on vaccinations.

While current coronavirus numbers sit below rates reached the last two winters, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff says that around 2,500 Americans are still dying each week due to the virus.

Among those deaths are roughly 90 Ohioans.

A new, highly-contagious variant has also been identified in XBB.1.5, which health officials are still learning about in terms of lethality.

As before, Ohioans 65 and older are especially suspectable to serious illness if infected, especially without up-to-date boosters.

Four out of five individuals who have died due to COVID were in that category. While just under 87 percent of that age group has been vaccinated, less than 40 percent have current boosters.

Vanderhoff called most of the deaths being seen currently are preventable, and reiterated that vaccines have been vetted and determined safe through testing and analysis.

Vaccination locations can be found at

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